The veteran broadcaster, whose ‘Blue Planet II’ series recently received millions of viewers and a deluge of critical acclaim, hit out at Grylls in a new interview with The Sun this week.
In Grylls’ latest series ‘The Island’, animals such as pigs, crocodiles and turkeys were killed as parts of challenges. When asked for his views about these exploits, Attenborough replied: “We've never killed an animal… Bear Grylls will have to answer for himself. I wouldn't willingly kill an animal just to get a shot.”
Sir David Attenborough has hit out at Bear Grylls
Viewers and animal rights campaigning groups have been highly critical of Channel 4 for providing a platform for ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’, and of the programme’s treatment of animals.
The RSPCA previously issued a statement to the Mail on Sunday that said they “oppose practices that cause animals pain, suffering or death in the name of entertainment. It is unacceptable and could easily cause great distress to the animals.”
Animal charity PETA has also condemned the show’s “miserable celebrities and producers” after the Christmas special saw Olympian Iwan Thomas and former ‘Coronation Street’ actor Ryan Thomas killed a crocodile with a knife.
Meanwhile, 91 year old broadcaster Attenborough, whose career spans a remarkable 75 years, has recently signed a lucrative deal with streaming giant Netflix to front a show about conservation of the natural world.
“Netflix want me to do something on conservation and have asked me to do it, and I’ve said I would,” he said elsewhere in the interview. “There’s certain things that the BBC can do and can’t do, and I can see some reasons why to do a programme on Netflix rather than the BBC.”